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This isn't your garden-variety art exhibit. Artist Celan Bouillet has spent years cultivating paintings that celebrate our relationship with Houston's green spaces. In her new exhibit, The Bayou Botanist: 365 days in Houston's Gardens at The Silos at Sawyer Yards, dreamy and playful paintings, like Down the Rabbit Hole, are acrylic on canvas. Other featured works, like Through the Ferns, are more bold and experimental, with Bouillet actually cutting the very canvas she paints. The shadows casted from the ferns give layers to the work akin to what you find in nature. 

“When I am walking and thinking, I find myself looking down and I notice the changes on the ground and the light changes and the shadow of the leaves on the ground," says Bouillet. "From that, I wanted to replicate the shifting shadows onto my work.”

This kind of art is a first for Bouillet, as she has never used the canvas in this way. “I stopped respecting the canvas, and wasn’t afraid to make a mistake,” she shares.

Bouillet shares her interpretation of the Bayou City's various natural spaces by capturing the essence of different places, like the more intimate McGovern Centennial Gardens or the openness of Hermann Park, and what it feels like to be surrounded by nature. Her goal is for viewers to “step through a portal” and into these wonderful works.

Traveling is vital to her work. From her start in small-town Georgia, to painting in Costa Rica and northern Germany, her travels impact her art as she takes pieces from each place and incorporates them into each canvas. 

“I look at the city through the eyes of a traveller, so that way you are falling in love with the city again and again, and not going to the same place every time,” says Bouillet.

Until September 24. The Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St. thesilosonsawyer.com 

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